Oli Petit sits at the bar at the new Destin Diner. Photo by Jackie Ward.

Oli Petit of Red Bar and the new Destin Diner. Photo by Jacqueline Ward Images.

As is his style, Oli Petit, owner of the wildly successful Red Bar in Grayton Beach, has taken a run-down, abandoned building and given it new life as a unique establishment for eating and drinking.

This time, he’s set up shop in the stainless steel diner in Destin that for years sat empty and exposed to the elements. On Monday, after about six months of work, The Destin Diner officially opened for business, welcoming customers with textured-marble floors, red-cushioned booths, detailed tile- and wood-work and plenty of pop culture tacked to the walls.

The building had been closed for over seven years and completely left alone since then. When Petit set to work on it, the sky could be seen through most of the roof.

“It was wrecked, and when I tell you that, I’m not exaggerating,” Petit said of the abandoned diner. “This place was a complete disaster.”

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“Life simply goes on with my art and I try like so many other artists to just follow the natural cycle that ebbs and flows with the artist’s Muse.” – Chick Huettel, Santa Rosa Beach resident and Coastal Branch Library‘s artist of the month.

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2015 Seaside School Half Marathon

2015 Seaside School Half Marathon

Congratulations to the over 4,000 racers in this year’s Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K! People from all over the country came to 30A this weekend to celebrate the race, which raised more money for the Seaside School than any year before.

Check it out:

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PicMonkey Collage

This year, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Northwest Florida-style with a parade and party at Gulf Place. The party kicks off Saturday, March 14th at noon with the parade at 2 p.m. Proceeds support breast cancer charity, Fore Her, and Alaqua Animal Refuge.

The family-friendly event includes a ‘wee folk’ area containing costume prizes for fairy princesses and pirates, along with ‘Pot O’ Gold’ treasure hunts, face painting and much more. Top notch Celtic entertainment will also be on hand all day with Dismal Creek, Drake School of Irish Dance, Cleghorn and Canadian sensation, Searson.

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30A Wine Festival 2014

Wine lovers will gather in Alys Beach for the fourth annual 30A Wine Festival Friday, March 6, through Sunday, March 8, 2015.

Alys Beach, one of the unique beach communities located on Scenic Highway 30A, will welcome renowned vintners and local culinary favorites for a three-day celebration benefiting Children’s Volunteer Health Network.

The full schedule includes:

Friday, March 6:

Bourbon, Beer & Butts, 6-9 p.m. at Kelly Green: The festival kicks off with a night of bourbon, beer, and barbecue tastings. Featuring distilleries from across the country, local breweries, and barbecue from local pitmasters, the event invites attendees to eat and drink while listening to live music from singer-songwriter Eric Lindell. Admission is included in the purchase of a weekend pass or individual tickets can be purchased for $60. Tickets are limited.

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ECCAC Golf Classic 2014

Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s Golf Classic 2014

Mark your calendars now for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual Kieran May Memorial Golf and Gala Weekend, March 7-8.

The weekend kicks off with the Gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy a fun black tie and Roaring 20s-theme dinner with music, dancing, live and silent auctions, and a cork wine pull. A live auction will include sought-after items such as a trip to the Kentucky Derby; CBS Sports golf package with the winner’s pick of a golf tournament with the announcers; and a vacation home in San Miguel.

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